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What are the greatest Cal football games against UCLA?

Cal and UCLA tend to trade wins.


Most exciting game

Piotr: 2012. This game also ranks in the other categories. #25 UCLA walks into the Memorial Stadium full of swagger and confidence, thinking that they can come into our house and finally steal a win. Honestly, my friends and I were expecting getting dominated, but it is our school on a night game at home so we gotta go. And it starts poorly for Cal—Zach Maynard throws an INT and I was like “here we go again”... Soon after, Cal and our defense storm back: one INT, two INTs—Brett Hundley can’t do nothing all game long and somehow Maynard had it on lock. And we win… we don’t just win, we dominated. It was sweet—no one gave us a shot and we said “screw you, the Bear doesn’t quit, the Bear doesn’t die.” And walking down Piedmont after the game, with the fight song in our throats, thousands of voices singing as one…. That’s when I truly became a Cal fan.

Ohio Bear: 1990. Cal 38, UCLA 31. In yours truly’s only “rush the field” moment as a Cal student, Cal defeated UCLA to end “the streak” of 18 straight losses to the southern branch campus. Cal built a 38–17 lead after a touchdown and 2-point conversion early in the 4th quarter, but the Bruins rallied with two touchdowns to pull within 7. With UCLA driving toward a game-tying or game-winning score, Cal’s Michael Davis sacked UCLA QB Tommy Maddox, forcing a fumble that sealed the Cal win and triggered a wild celebration on the Memorial Stadium turf.

Best Cal performance

Ohio Bear: 1991. #18 Cal 27, # 24 UCLA 24. Cal went into the Rose Bowl on a hot October day and faced a very good UCLA team that had Pac-10 title aspirations. Behind the prolific QB-WR combination of Tommy Maddox and Sean LaChappelle, the Bruins built a 24–14 lead with 10 minutes left in the 4th quarter. But Cal RB Russell White did yeoman’s work, willing his way to the end zone for a game-tying touchdown. Cal got the ball back and set up a 47-yard field goal attempt by Doug Brien, which Brien nailed to give the Bears a sweet comeback win.

Best Cal upset

Ohio Bear: 2012. Cal 43, #25 UCLA 17. I didn’t see that one coming. Did you?

Leland Wong: Based on win-loss records and conference standings, this game barely falls under the category of “upset”, but given how miserably Jeff Tedford’s teams played in Los Angeles, the ability to go down south in 2009 and come out with Tedford’s first road victory over UC Los Angeles or USC has to count as an upset over juju. The 45–26 beatdown was beautiful, but not as beautiful as Jahvid Best’s 93-yard touchdown run.